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Had “sticker shock” on your latest power bill?

January 18, 2017   By Willard Strong in Energy Matters

If you haven’t already, you’re probably going to have a little “sticker shock” when you get your electric bill.

Last Monday morning, Jan. 9, the outside thermometer at my house read 19 degrees F. For us warm-blooded Southerners, that’s really chilly by our “norms.” Later in the week and by last weekend, we set highs in the upper 70s, so thankfully the cold snap didn’t last very long. This will likely help on your bill’s bottom line, as the warmup continued this week.

Still, with holiday bills rolling in, more money for electricity was not likely part of your New Year’s expectation. I’ve said it for many years: People are used to paying a certain amount within a certain range for power, and if it deviates from that, all of us, even those of who work in the industry, feel a little righteous indignation from that norm.

It’s a pretty natural human reaction to feel that maybe something’s amiss with the electric meter, the heat strips came on and didn’t go off on the heat pump, one of the kids accidently flipped the switch on the swimming pool pump and forgot to say anything, and so on.

I’ve said this for years: The time to be proactive about using electricity more efficiently is not when we experience an upper teen morning and consecutive days when the mercury barely goes above the 32-degree freezing mark. The proverbial horse has already fled the barn.

So if you don’t get hit this time with a higher bill, there will be a next time. Santee Cooper is here to help for that next time. We want you to have all the electricity you need, but we want you to use it wisely. We’ve always felt that way and we back it up with a powerful energy-efficient, online toolbox. Just go to for info on Reduce The Use and ways save, from the smallest of investments to a new heat pump.